The White Buck is a Public House and Hotel located in the village of Burley, within the New Forest National Park. The main building had already been extended several times when permission was sought for a new detached five-bedroom staff accommodation block to the rear of the building.
Despite a historic precedent of outbuildings in the same location, pre-application advice indicated that the Local Planning Authority would not support the proposed development as it would be contrary to various local policies on rural and residential development. Walsingham Planning used national level policy to persuade the Authority these local policies were not strictly applicable to this project, thereby removing one hurdle.
Further discussions with the New Forest NPA indicated that a detailed business case would still be necessary to justify this development. Walsingham Planning therefore analysed the White Buck’s financial performance, staff turnover rates and staff pay rates. A survey of current employees was also carried out. Walsingham Planning successfully demonstrated that the proposed staff accommodation was essential to the White Buck’s future financial viability. We also identified the additional environmental benefit in terms of a reduction in the number of staff who would regularly commute to work by car.
Finally, we negotiated some minor design changes to satisfy the Authority that the new building would only be used for staff accommodation. Consent was granted in July 2016.
Perseverance and experience of the public house/leisure sector were vital to Walsingham Planning’s eventual success with this application.